4th Avenue Theatre found to be "significant to Alaska historic and cultural heritage"

Published: Apr. 24, 2017 at 2:35 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The Alaska Historical Commission met Monday morning and unanimously voted the 4th Avenue Theatre "is found to be significant to Alaska historic and cultural heritage."

Now the issue goes to the governor for approval, and the commission continues to take public testimony from people about the building, which is already on the The National Register of Historic Places.

According to the Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation, this move does not stop the building's owner from demolishing the property.

Two members of the company sat in the back of the room and listened to numerous people testify about their memories of watching movies in the old theater, first kisses and proms held there, as well as their appreciation for the art deco-style they believe should be preserved.

"This building is a symbol of historic Anchorage," Steve Haycox said. "And [it's] a historical statement of the values of the town at the time of its creation."

Representatives with Peach Investment Corporation declined an interview, but did say it would cost more than $10 million to bring the building up to code and added that they would not demolish the building. They said they applied for the permit to do maintenance there.

At one point during testimony one of the former owners of the theater, Robert Gottstein asked everyone to stand and clap if they wanted the building saved.

Everyone stood.

Judith Bittner, the State Historic Preservation Officer, said Peach would have to accept a designation as a historical building.

In the meantime, Peach spokespeople seemed unsure what this latest move would mean for the theater.